How to Wrap the Perfect Package

Today we have a little holiday miracle to share with you – a pretty little package tied up with a perfect bow – no tape, cuts or twisted knots required. Ok – so I didn’t say it was a big miracle but I get such joy out of these little details.

Did you know you can tie a ribbon without having to use tape? Without it having to have a bump or twits on the back? Call me crazy, but that always drives me nuts when my gifts won’t lay flat. Thankfully, there is a secret ribbon tying technique that will leave discerning gift wrappers saying, how did you do that??

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Step 1: Measure out your ribbon to make sure it’ll go around your box twice. Lay your cut piece of ribbon out on a flat surface

Step 2: Set your box on top of the ribbon. Make sure there’s plenty of ribbon sticking out on both ends. Make a loop on the left end {no need to tie anything, just make a little circle – the end of the ribbon will be point back toward your body}

Step 3: Slip your loop over the left corner of the box furtherest from your body. It’ll just rest there – don’t worry it might fall off – you might have to hold it in place

Step 4: The tail of your loop will stretch across the underside of the box back towards you, making a {flat!} cross

Step 5: Bring the ribbon from the right side and pull it under your corner loop

Step 6: Bring the second tail up from the underside

Step 7: Tie the two pieces in your first knot

Step 8: Tie your bow. Big, small or over-the-top huge – let your creativity be your guide!

Et voila!

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Even if you’re the only one to appreciate the thoughtfulness that goes into your gift wrapping skills, there’s something so satisfying about tying your packages up in perfectly wrapped string!

 

original photography for apartment 34 by Emily Scott // custome 34 paper c/o Zazzle.com 

A Trip to L.A. to Admire Design

Design is in the details. That’s a phrase you might commonly associate within fashion. From expertly executed hand-stitched couture to a custom fitted suit, I know details make a world of difference in how you look and how you feel. It’s also something I pay very close attention to when I travel. I don’t know about you, but I’m always noticing what font a hotel uses on their soap packaging, or whether they offer a modern room key or a super cool alternative to those ugly floral comforters {do they ever wash those btw?}. But how often do we stop to think about design details elsewhere, like in a car? We certainly hadn’t until we were introduced to Lincoln’s new and most creative line of cars: Lincoln Black Label.

Instead of leading with discussions of torque or horsepower {because let’s be honest, those numbers really mean nothing to us!}, Lincoln has chosen to lead with design through four different themes inspired by four different moods: Modern Heritage, a classic and elegant sensibility focusing on clean lines without opulence; Center Stage, about dramatic, attention grabbing moments; Indulgence, with an emphasis on luxe sumptuous materials; and Oasis, inspired by a dream escape to the ultimate eco-spa. Taking the whole idea one step further, Lincoln decided to style a house in Los Angeles that further personified their design inspirations. A gorgeous home in the Hollywood Hills? Now that was something we could definitely understand. And for attention-to-detail suckers like ourselves, we were intrigued to learn more so Bianca traveled to L.A. to see it all in person {and get a jolt of inspiration from the City of Angels – lucky gal!}.

lincoln-black-label-3The luxe black leather sofa and pop art prints of Hollywood icons definitely take “Center Stage” in this living room.

black-label-lincoln-apartment-34The patterned leather seat in the Modern Heritage car was so yummy – we wanted to turn it into a handbag!

While in LA, we sat down with Lincoln’s color and materials design manager, Janet Seymour, who talked us through the process of designing for Black Label. The four themes were designed specifically to attract different personalities. With an artisanal type of approach to design, the team has focused on materials and exploring creative ways to design a car around an experience and “creating a desire.”

Everything from exterior paint color and sheen, to grains and textures, to designer woods {did you know you can design the grain of a wood exactly how you want it?! So cool!} to leather and fabrics, the team has looked at trends in fashion, travel and food to really create the most detail focused car out there. “Subtlety through impact” is what Janet likes to refer to as the detail mantra. Whether it’s the mood you feel when you step in or how the leather feels against your blue jeans, Lincoln has thought of it all!

black-label-lincoln-apartment-34-2I would gladly have this chandelier take Center Stage in our new house!

black-label-lincoln-apartment-34-3The luxe black sofa takes Center Stage in the living room

When designing the Indulgence theme, the team started out with a piece of buttery, chocolate-colored leather. That leather  inspired them to look into chocolatiers in New York and Paris to garner more insight into smoothness, color and texture. The “Oasis” theme was inspired by a magical retreat to a super modern and design-focused hotel in Africa. “Center Stage” as the name lends itself, was inspired by the feeling and excitement of curtains parting on the opening night of a show. And “Modern Heritage” focused on a timeless color palette, classic design and sleek details, keeping in mind the person who loves travel, fine art and the good life. Hearing all of these stories and the process of selecting specific inspirations was fascinating. It really got us excited to not only travel the world and explore new places some more, , but it had us eager to hit the streets of LA to keep an eye out for everyday inspiration.

lincoln-black-label-apartment-34-Adding pops of red to a chic black and white color palette make the clean lines of this bar space pop

lincoln-black-label-apt-34I love the mixed materials of the brass and black leather chair in the Center Stage themed living room

Before we could do just that {more on the L.A. sites we saw, architecture we gawked at, and cute boutiques we shopped later!} we drove up the small and windy streets of the Hollywood Hills, where nestled amongst the trees and Hollywood Sign was a gorge house, styled by Evan Haslegrave of hOmE. When asked about how he incorporated the design of each of the Black Label themes into the home, he said, “we brought in certain moments “that are evocative of” the Los Angeles landscape “but also balancing it with richer, more luxurious materials that are more indicative of the car.” Everything from the sleek brass light fixtures {ob-sessed!} to the smooth, buttery leathers and crisp, modern color palette, we’d say he did an excellent job!

black-label-lincoln-apartment-34-6We loved the understated elegance of this art deco fixture in the Modern Heritage themed dining room

apartment-34-black-label-6Bar area: Modern Heritage

How sleek and modern is this bar setup? Love the black and smoky glassware mixed in with just a couple of well designed {of course!} bottles of liquor. It’s color palette of black, white and red is simple and timeless – proof positive that you don’t need to fuss when it comes to styling vignettes in your home. Simply stick with really clean and curated design elements and the classic style will last for years.

lincoln-indulgence-roomThe sheepskin draped over those stools at the foot of the Indulgence themed bedroom literally make us drool

black-label-apartment-34-4Red certainly takes “Center Stage” in these corners of a bedroom

black-label-lincoln-apartment-34-5lincoln-black-label-apartment-34-2I’d gladly climb into this “Oasis” of a bed every night

What small design detail has inspired you today? Maybe it’s the way you’ve chosen to roll your sweater sleeves, or the subtle impact a gold bobby pin in your hair make over the plain ol’ black ones. Or did you decide to throw on red lipstick before you left the house this morning? It’s those little decisions that can make a major impact on how something is perceived. We are definitely paying more attention to details after our experience in LA!

original photography for apartment 34 by Joanne Pio // iimage 9 c/o Lincoln by Jared Chambers

This post is in partnership with Lincoln. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34’s doors open. 

A Christmas DIY That’s Perfect for Small Spaces!

We don’t know about you, but for a couple of years now it seems like we’re pulling fewer and fewer of our Christmas decorations out of storage. I don’t know if it’s just the modern decor trend sinking in deeper or if it’s that the minimal lifestyle is feeling ever more appealing. Whatever the reason, the Scandinavian approach to Christmas is so attractive this year. They somehow get it just right. So with only a couple of boxes of ornaments out of storage and streamlined trimmings on our mind, we DIY’d the cutest birch branch Christmas tree you ever did see- a great alternative to the 9-footer and the perfect festive element for tight quarters! It’s so simple and super cute, even if you are decking the halls with 50 pounds of holly, you’ll want to add it to your home this season!

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We love, love, LOVE, simple moments like a sweetly sparse potted tree on the stairs or simple white paper bags wrapped in twine and hung with clothespins for an advent calendar – even live trimmings ’round a homemade candle chandelier. So cozy chic!

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Our holiday inspiration is coming straight from Copenhagen right now; craftiness meets chic simplicity. Their secret is a neutral palette: blacks, whites and soft greys, mixed in with natural elements like branches, tree trimmings and small potted evergreens, and lots of texture: think burlap, rope and twine. Mix them all togehther and your Scandi-inspired Christmas is complete!

With these inspirations as our guide, and some help from the DIY queen herself, Martha Stewart, we took to DIYing our version of a modern Scandinavian inspired Christmas tree- no water or vacuuming of pine needles required! We put a slightly more glam spin on Scandi with a mix of metallic ornaments as well as some matte white baubles {which were also a DIY!}.

christmas-tree-diy-step

Here’s how you do it yourself:

Tools:

You can find many of these items at The Home Depot here

Two 6-foot birch tree branches
Hand-Saw
Measuring Tape
Strong Baker’s Twine or Thin Rope
Martha Stewart Living Snowberry Ornaments
1 Can White Spray Paint
Gift Tags {love these and these watercolor tags!}
Pretty Baker’s Twine
Scissors {love these brass ones!}
2 ft fishing line

Method:

> Measure, mark and cut birch tree branches with saw. Bottom branch is 30 inches, then go in increments of 6 inches: 24, 18, 12, your top branch will be 6 inches.

> Lay branches out in shape of Christmas tree, longest branch on bottom, shortest on top with about 8 inches in between each branch. Wrap strong twine around bottom branch three-four times, knot it, then wrap it around next branch, knot it and cut. Repeat for all branches.

wood-christmas-tree-diy-2christmas-tree-diy-3

> Coat desired ornaments with matte white spray paint. Repeat process until fully covered.

> Cut 6 inch pieces of Butcher’s Twine and string through ornaments and tie on branches.

> Hang tree using fishing line and a 3M hook to your wall! Perfectly thin for a hallway, impactful enough for a corner in the living room and so cute for the kitchen!

> Keep a small bowl and sharpie by the tree and whenever you think of a Christmas wish, write it down on a gift tag and hang it on the tree! They could be something special to read on Christmas morning as a family. And ta-da!

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The muted champagne, mocha and silver color palette of the ornaments {there are so many options to choose from here!} blends in so naturally against the textured white bark of the birch tree branches. And we’re rather smitten with our Gold Reindeer Tree Topper! This type of tree is calm and serene, yet festive and inviting – exactly what we want our holiday to be this year. This modern DIY will certainly make you rethink bringing a live tree into your tiny city apartment! It’s absolutely perfect for big and small spaces alike!

Happy Holidays!

PS: If you still just really need to go glam for Christmas don’t miss our over the top holiday decor of bold golds, rich greens & garlands for days right here.

images 1-2, 9-12 original photography for apartment 34 by Emily Scott // image 3 via Petra Bindel for Elle Decoration // 4 via // 5 via An-Magritt // 6 via // 7 via House Doctor // 8 via Frichic

This post was in partnership with Martha Stewart Living. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting partnerships we’re excited about and that help keep Apartment 34’s doors open.